Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mental Illness

My concept is that once an officer is off his field training and passed probation, he would be elegible to become a police mental health paramedic officer.  The program would consist of about six months classroom and hospital training for the officer.  He would learn how to deal with mental health emergencies, the drugs typically prescribed for mental health issues and how to administer them.  He would be specially trained in suicide intervention and be able to provide limited medical treatment for common methods of attempted suicide.

The officer would receive a small increase in pay and would be priority dispatched to calls for service that involve mentally ill persons.  Since police spend a substantial amount of time dealing with people with mental illness having officers on duty who specialize in this type of response would be a great benefit to the public, the mentally ill community and even their fellow officers.

Too often police respond to a mentally ill person and have to resort to violence to resolve the incident because we lack the training and tools to properly deal with people who have mental illnesses.  We don't always recognize that the person we are dealing with is unable, rather than unwilling to respond to our commands.  Just as we have SWAT teams to deal with dangerous criminals, having a police mental health paramedic officer can help us deal with dangerous, but sick, individuals; that's what the SGT Says.

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